What is F#?
F# is a functional programming language written by Don Syme from Microsoft. In addition to F#, Don has done extensive work on the CLR (Common Language Runtime) and is the main reason that we have generics in C# and VB.NET. F# was built on top of the CLR, which means that it compiles down to IL (Intermediary Language) and is interoperable with all of the other CLR based languages. The Sept. CTP Release is available here.
What is functional programming?
The first functional programming languages--IPL and LISP (which stands for List Programming)--were created in the 1950s. These languages, and all functional programming languages including F#, were built on the foundation of Lambda Calculus. There are many functional programming languages such as OCaml, Erlang, Haskell, and Eiffel. In addition, other languages such as XSLT
are built on some of the concepts from functional languages (note: XSLT is not a functional programming language).
We have functional programming languages to thank for many of the features that have been released in the .NET Framework such as generics, iterators, and LINQ.